A study of the relative responsiveness of five sensibility tests for assessment of recovery after median nerve injury and repair

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A longitudinal dynamic cohort study was conducted on patients with median nerve injuries to evaluate the relative responsiveness of five sensibility tests: touch threshold using the WEST (monofilaments), static two-point discrimination, locognosia, a pick-up test and an object recognition test. Repeated assessments were performed starting at 6 months after surgery. In order to compare the relative responsiveness of each test, effect size and the standard response mean were calculated for sensibility changes occurring between 6 and 18 months after repair.

Large effect sizes (>0.8) and standard response means (>0.8) were obtained for the WEST, locognosia, pick-up and object recognition tests. Two-point discrimination was hardly measurable at any time point and exhibited strong flooring effects. Further analysis of all time points was undertaken to assess the strength of the monotonic relationship between test scores and time elapsed since surgery. Comparison of monotonicity between the five tests indicated that the WEST performed best, whereas two-point discrimination performed worst. These results suggest that the monofilament test (WEST), locognosia test, Moberg pick-up test and tactile gnosis test capture sensibility changes over time well and should be considered for inclusion in the outcome assessment of patients with median nerve injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery-British
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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